Decisions on Public Petitions Received

I thank Mr. Ward. That concludes this matter. I thank the witnesses for appearing before us today. The petition will remain open so the committee will meet to deliberate on the evidence that has been heard and will follow up at a later stage.

We will move on to consideration of public petitions. The committee will now make formal decisions on six petitions. Petition P00015/19 from Ms Mmoley Taylor would like to see Irish citizenship offered to all British spouses of Irish nationals who are currently resident in Ireland and have been married for over five years. This petition cites the uncertainty of Brexit and potential hardships for British citizens as reasons for doing this. Does any member wish to contribute to this matter? I propose that we forward a copy of the response from the Department of Justice and Equality to the petitioner and close the petition. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Petition P00016/19 from Ms Molly O'Brien would like to see visa exemptions for non-EU spouses of Irish citizens in the case of short-stay visits only. The petition cites the excessive documentation required for the application and lead-in in time required in the application process.

End of Take

This is the first of two petitions by the same petitioner on a similar theme. Unless any member wishes to contribute on this matter, I propose that we forward a copy of the response from the Department of Justice and Equality to the petitioner and close the petition. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Petition No. P00024/19 is from Ms Laura Moore. This petitioner would like to see the immediate end to all badger culling and the implementation of a tuberculosis, TB, vaccination programme for badgers. The petition states that a vaccination programme was proposed by the Government in 2018 but has not been actioned. Does any member wish to contribute to this matter? No. I propose that we keep this petition open. Is that agreed? Agreed. We will correspond further with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to ask for further details on the roll-out of the vaccination programme, including a timeline. We will correspond with the petitioner and inform her that the petition remains open. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Petition No. P00015/19 is from Mr. Joseph Guerin. The petitioner objects to an official visit to the State by dignitaries and cites security fears. Does any member wish to contribute to this matter? No. I propose that we deem this petition inadmissible under Standing Order 111C(1)(a). Is that agreed? Agreed.

Petition No. P00030/19 is from Ms Molly O'Brien. This petition concerns the documentation required in the Irish visa application process. The petitioner specifically references the requirement for six months of bank statements from applicants. The petitioner considers this a breach of privacy. As an alternative, this petition suggests that a certificate of balance be used. That would show the balance of an applicant's account on a certain date. Does any member wish to contribute to this matter? No. I propose that we forward a copy of the response from the Department of Justice and Equality to the petitioner and close this petition. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Petition No. P00011/18 is from Ms Josephine Boles. This petition concerns mandatory training for Irish mainstream schoolteachers on spectrum disorders. This petitioner would like to see mandatory training given to all primary and post-primary mainstream teachers in the various elements of spectrum disorders. This would include autism, Asperger's syndrome, dyspraxia, developmental co-ordination disorder, DCD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder. Does any member wish to contribute to this matter? No. I propose that we forward a copy of the Official Report of the meeting and the documents supplied by the Department of Education and Skills and AsIAm to the petitioner and also inform her that the petition remains open. Is that agreed? Agreed.

I thank everybody for their attendance at this meeting. I propose that the committee adjourn until 1.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 3 July 2019. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The joint committee adjourned at 3.03 p.m. until 1.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 3 July 2019.